Information for Life Span Development Portfolio
INTERVIEW I: Biological and Physiological Development
On January 19, 2004 was born a healthy baby boy perfect in every way. Fast forward 18-24 months and we began to notice certain developmental delays in this toddler. After seeing numerous pediatricians, a diagnosis of autism is assigned to the toddler. For many people, being informed that your child has been diagnosed with a developmental disorder can be devastating to say the least. Beyond the initial feelings of despair are the feelings of uncertainty as parents sort through information relating to the child’s quality of life and prognosis. Many parents with autistic children experience these same emotions. “Autistic disorder is characterized by substantial deficits in communication and social functioning, as well as restrictive, repetitive and
stereotyped behaviors, all present before 3 years of age” (Volker, 2008). I had the opportunity to interview my best friend Dee whose son Kyle was recently diagnosed with autism. During portions of the interview, Kyle was able to participate and answer basic questions, but was unable to effectively participate due to his short attention span and lack of interest in the interview process.
According to Dee (personal communication, January 08, 2009), Kyle appeared “normal” during his first year of life. She noted that around his second birthday, she began to have some concerns. At age two, Kyle had not yet developed any language skills and would not provide any eye contact when spoken to or during conversations. In addition, Kyle would not interact with children his own age. By the age of three, Kyle still had not developed any age appropriate language skills and other autistic traits were becoming more apparent. He had become obsessed with computers and all forms of technology, yet showed a hypersensitivity to sound and lights. At this time, Kyle was referred to a speech therapist to work with...